Working in the travel industry I am immediately the first person my family goes to regarding any questions about travel. The most common question I get about traveling is, “When is the best time to travel?” This isn’t always the easiest question to answer because there are so many variables that come into play. So to help everyone out, I decided to come up with some good qualifying questions to help determine the best time for you to go on your vacation.
Are you traveling with children?
While this may seem like a no-brainer, this can be a huge determining factor on availability and prices. Prices on hotels and airlines skyrocket when children are out of school, so if you’re flexible with your travel dates aim for a non-peak time like September-November or January-April.
Are you traveling to a destination in the Southern Hemisphere?
The Southern hemisphere has opposite weather patterns compared to the Northern Hemisphere so travel to Australia, Tahiti and other Southern Hemisphere countries occurs most frequently during the Winter months in the Northern Hemisphere. High travel season equals higher prices.
Do you mind the idea of having some potentially rainy days on your trip?
If you’re looking for a deal and you’re not afraid of some potential rain, then traveling to the Caribbean during the months of July-November or Mexico between July-October might be a good fit for you. These are hurricane months but the odds of your trip being affected by a hurricane or tropical storm are usually pretty low. If you are not interested in bringing raingear, then I would avoid these months for the obvious reasons.
Are you open to looking at multiple regions?
Pricing is highly based on the region you are visiting. For example a family of 4 traveling from Seattle to Maui on August 12th for 5 nights at a 3.5 star property (Royal Lahaina) is going to run you $3780.43. The same dates traveling from Seattle to Puerto Vallarta and staying at a 4-star (Westin) will run you $2909.78. Thinking about an all-inclusive vacation? US hotels are not permitted to host full all-inclusive programs due to regulations, so traveling abroad will offer these features. What about the price difference? Remember the price for the Royal Lahaina ($3780.43) Dreams Puerto Vallarta for the same family with the same airfare on the same dates with all of your meals, drinks, taxes and gratuities will cost you $3707.46. It’s still cheaper than that trip to Hawaii and everything is included.
So when is the best time to travel? It’s not a question that will offer a quick answer but now that you have some ideas on what to consider hopefully your search will be a more pleasant experience.